Outside the Zhongying Recreational Building 中英育樂大樓

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Outside the distinctive Zhongying Recreational Building in Taichung.

Zhōngyīng Recreational Building 中英育樂大樓 is one of many distinctive and iconic ruins in the urban blight surrounding Taichung Station 臺中車站 in central . It was once a bustling commercial center but it fell into disrepair in the 1990s around the time that a series of fires left a total of seven people dead. With its fortunes in steep decline the building became a haven for the homeless—which is why the upper levels and basement have been sealed off.

Nowadays what residents remain are unusually suspicious of outsiders and, as a result, I haven’t made much progress in gaining access to most of the building the two times I’ve visited. The parts that can be seen are peculiar, to say the least: a concrete path corkscrews up from ground level to the third floor, allowing anyone to drive a scooter directly to their doorstep much like you would in a parking garage.

I will return to document more of what can be seen of this building but for now here’s a photo of the distinctive exterior fronting onto the main street. It is a wonder that this building hasn’t already been condemned and torn down but here is it more than two decades after disaster struck.

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